Is this the tale of a simple miscommunication, confusion in a crisis, or something more? Somebody might have an extra $30,000 stashed away….apparently the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is investigating the whereabouts of $30,000 in cash that was reportedly given to the pirates aboard the Maersk Alabama as part of a failed deal by Captain Richard Phillips. The cash was from the ships safe, which is normally located in the Master’s stateroom or office. It is not uncommon for commercial ships to carry large sums of cash to pay for services in foreign ports and for crew members to draw against their wages. All fine and dandy until the money turns up missing after a successful hostage rescue.
The Navy Times reports
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service “has opened an investigation into allegations of missing money,” according to Cmdr. Cappy Surette, a Navy spokesman at the Pentagon.
The cash was reportedly given to the pirates, but apparently nobody has claimed seeing it. It was not listed in an evidence inventory of the lifeboat after Navy personnel boarded and recovered the lifeboat.
Since it is an ongoing investigation and their is legal action pending against the surviving pirate, I would expect very few details to emerge until the investigation is concluded. Maersk has already declined to comment. Did it go down with the pirates skiff? Still in the belongings of the deceased pirates? Or under a mattress? We shall see.